Ex-Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw has described his time with Clermont as an “incredible learning experience” after saying farewell to the French club. It was long expected the 34-year-old would be moving on at the end of the 2019/20 season, with rumours of a move to Japan circulating after he apparently turned down an approach from Perpignan. 

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Having arrived from Gloucester in 2017, Laidlaw’s three-year spell at the Stade Marcel Michelin was brought to a premature end by the current Covid-19 pandemic.

The Scot had already announced the end of his eight-year, 76-cap international career in December following the World Cup, and this now looks to be the end to his club career in Europe. 

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He shared his mixed emotions on Instagram after his time with the club ended in ways that he would not have wanted. This is what he said: 

“Due to the current global situation, my time at Clermont has come to an abrupt end. It’s been a fantastic three years – there have been many great times, many fun times and some frustrations as well.

“I’m disappointed that we don’t get to have the opportunity to go out there and win something this season, but I understand why we can’t and that now has to be my time to say goodbye to the club and the amazing supporters – it has been fantastic playing and captaining Clermont on occasions over the last few years. 

“I wish everyone at the club and the Yellow Army all the best for the future. It’s crazy times right now but you will always have a place in my heart and hope you are looking forward to the return of rugby as much as I am!”

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View this post on Instagram

Due to the current global situation my time at Clermont has come to an abrupt end. It’s been a fantastic three years – there have been many great times, many fun times and some frustrations as well. Together, with my family, we have learnt a huge amount living out here in France. I’m beyond proud of my wife Rachel and our boys for taking on this challenge with me. As a player and a person, I have continued to grow and develop and playing at this great club has been an incredible learning experience for me. I’m disappointed that we don’t get to have the opportunity to go out there and win something this season but I understand why we can’t and that now has to be my time to say goodbye to the club and the amazing supporters' – it has been fantastic playing and captaining Clermont on occasions over the last few years. I wish everyone at the Club and the ‘Yellow Army’ all the best for the future, it’s crazy times right now but you will always have a place in my heart and hope you are looking forward to the return of rugby as much as I am! Thank you, stay safe and I hope we can share a wine when I next return as a fan! Au revoir Greig

A post shared by Greig Laidlaw (@g.laidlaw) on

The Top 14 season was terminated in France in early May with Clermont sitting in sixth place. They were also in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals with a home fixture against Racing 92.

It’s understandable that Laidlaw is disappointed there was no glory this season, but this has been a successful tenure for him in France, marked by his 18-point haul in his side’s Challenge Cup final victory over La Rochelle last year. 

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